Office reception breakout space, with L-shaped corner sofa upholstered in red fabric

Beyond COVID-19: Why The Office Will be More Important Than Ever

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With us all once again confined to their homes, we do finally have a reason for feeling some positive vibes with the start of the vaccination roll out showing some light at the end of this seemingly endless tunnel.

It’s time to think to the future, to a time when we burst out of lockdown and back into the sunshine, (or maybe British drizzle).

It may seem logical to ask, ‘is the office still relevant in the post-pandemic landscape?’ This is the question we’ve been posing to ourselves, to our colleagues and to our clients. It’s becoming increasingly clear: not only is the office still relevant – it may actually prove to be more vital than ever before.

Is The Office Still Relevant?

While some have been right at home, (excuse the pun), working on the kitchen table – enjoying saving money on trains, tubes and petrol – this doesn’t represent the wider picture. A recent workplace survey by architecture and design firm Gensler finds that only 12% of employees want to work from home full-time.

This is because the workplace is not just a place where work is done. It’s also a place for team building, for socialising, for building bonds with colleagues and for making friends. Imagine beginning a new job at a company where most worked remotely. Obvious difficulties to do with training and collaboration aside, forming relationships with new coworkers, getting to know them and how they work – as well as them getting to know you – might prove to be seriously challenging.

When asked about the post-pandemic world, almost 70% of workers surveyed voiced a preference for hybrid working; spending some days working from the office, others from home. Paired with flexible working, those surveyed were shown to be much more accepting of shared workspaces.

Offices Workers Will Love

With fewer workers in the office, fewer desks will be required. This frees up space for more collaborative working areas – more soft seating arrangements, meeting booths, touch-down tables and creative spaces for impromptu meetings. These are the aspects of workspace culture which workers really value.

It’s not hyperbole to say the office won’t be the same. But that only means the office’s role as a place to connect, collaborate, and socialise will become more important. Working from home has emphasised why we need the office.

Gensler: UK Workplace Survey 2020

It’s important for workspaces to take notice of these strengthening trends. For a company to continue being an attractive place to work, continuing to draw the best new talent, their offices must remain relevant to their workforce. Where it’s been shown that workers most value the connections they build with colleagues, spaces for this can happen must be provided, expanded and improved.

After all, workspaces are an important puzzle piece when considering how company culture is conveyed to workers – making them feel more directly included and invested.

We can help!

We are here to support you through the new workplace revolution, manufacturing slick seating solutions for areas that encourage collaboration, connections and team building. If we can help with planning for some new social breakout spaces, we’d love to help out – please get in touch.

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